THE East of England MEP Vicky Ford has been appointed to oversee the scrutiny and amendment of tougher EU gun laws proposed in the wake of the Paris terrorist attack.
Mrs Ford is concerned the initial proposals published by the European Commission have ‘unintended consequences’ that could affect museums, genuine collectors, sporting organisations and activities such as paint balling and historic re-enactments as well as the use of guns in films and television productions.
"In the aftermath of the tragic Paris attacks it is right that we look at what more can be done on a practical basis to tackle terrorism and criminal activities," said Mrs Ford, MEP for Eastern England.
"Effective gun controls are part of this. However, we need to ensure the rules are proportionate and that they tackle real problems. There are some genuine concerns that the initial proposals are unclear and poorly worded. This means there could be unintended consequences for genuine law abiding gun owners and this must be avoided. I intend to prepare a series of amendments to cover these issues."
Mrs Ford will host a series of working groups and hearings with experts from across Europe and the UK, with a view to finalising her report by early spring. This will then be followed by discussions with MEPs and governments from other countries before a final law is agreed.
A key concern is that the current proposals could result in irreversible damage to thousands of historical weapons currently securely held in museum collections. In order to better understand how such weapons are kept secure and the potential cutural and financial costs of deactivating them, this Friday Mrs Ford will meet expert curators from the Royal Armouries and the Imperial War Museum.
Mrs Ford stressed that the UK already had some of Europe’s most stringent gun laws and said her report will ensure this approach remains in place.